May 6, 2010 -- When the alleged Times Square bomber was summoned to the front of the Emirate Airlines jetliner, he unbuckled his seatbelt and -- despite being so close to a getaway -- did not appear surprised to find a pair of uniformed federal officers waiting to arrest him.
Faisal Shahzad calmly identified himself, and went ordered to he took off his watch, emptied his pockets, and turned around to put his hands behind his back to be cuffed.
As Shahzad walked down the jetway en route to jail with Customs Officer Robert McConkie's hand on his arm, Shahzad asked, "Who I was with, FBI or NYPD?" McConkie told ABC News in an exclusive interview.
The officer showed Shahzad the Customs patch on his uniform sleeve.
After walking a few more steps, Shahzad said to McConkie, "I was expecting you. I wondered what took so long."
McConkie and his supervisor Paul Casquarelli said the suspect was placid and cooperative the entire time, showing no nerves or anger or fear.
"I think at some point he realized the jig was up and this was it," McConkie said.
McConkie and Casquarelli ended a frantic 53 hour 20 minute manhunt for the Pakistani man who is accused of trying to detonate a car bomb in Times Square this past weekend at a time when it was jammed with tourists and theater-goers.
The final moment of the dragnet came at 10:55 p.m. when Casquarelli got a call at Kennedy Airport's Gate 6 that a "no fly" person may be on the Emirates Airlines. The plane, headed for Dubai, was scheduled to leave at 11 p.m.
"I was told the no-fly issue was directly related to Times Square," Casquarelli said.
He immediately sent two officers to the door of the jetliner and told airline personnel at the gate that the plane wasn't going anywhere immediately.
"It was minutes from taking off," Casquarelli said.
Casquarelli, a 23 year veteran, and McCoskie, who has been on the force for eight years, went down to the jetliner's door themselves and had Shahzad paged over the plane's public address system. The suspect emerged from the plane moment's later at 11:02 p.m.
Times Square Suspect Was "Completely Calm" When Taken Off Jetliner
"He just had a non-committal look, completely calm, no surprise," Casquarelli said.
"He showed absolutely no emotion," McConkie said.
Shahzad produced his passport, cooperated with the obligatory patdown, and complied with the officers' request that he step away from the plane's door because they did not want to cuff him in view of passengers. The cuffs were then hooked to leg irons.
"He was totally compliant," McConkie said.
Despite his outward calm, the officer said the arrest must have been a jolt to the Pakistani native who became an American citizen.
"Going through his mind at that time, sitting in his seat along with the other passengers, he probably figured that in a few minutes the door would be closed to the aircraft and he would be taking off," McConkie said.
The officers said they called Shahzad off the plane because going on board could cause other problems.
"We didn't want to storm onto the plane and frighten the other 200 passengers," McConkie said.
"And if he was traveling with someone else, that could be a problem," Casquarelli said.
Although the suspect was in custody, Customs night would still be a long one.
"I asked him how he got to the airport," McConkie said. "He said he had a car. I asked him if there was anything in it we needed to be concerned about. He said he had a TREK-8," referring to a high powered gun.
They feds feared the vehicle could be booby trapped and Watch Commander Frank Formato called in an army of support.
"We needed the bomb squad. We sent a team to watch the car and keep the public away. You might think it's quiet that time of night, but we had hundreds of employees we had to think about. Over 1,500 passengers in the terminal," Formato said.
It wasn't until three hours later that the officers could exhale and call the situation all clear.
"You know it's a monumental catch. You know it's high-profile. We had a sense of relief....You think about the enormity of it all," McConkie said.